Lamb of God Maternity Home in Escondido serves women from around the country who are choosing open adoption as their parenting choice. The home provides a full program of services including housing, counseling, mentorship, spiritual direction, addiction resources, educational and vocational guidance. Residents learn life skills necessary to transition to independent living such as time management, goal setting, financial literacy, cooking, and personal accountability. All this in a setting that uniquely supports the adoption decision.
The home, open since 2013, was founded by Grace Dulaney who had placed her son in an open adoption over 27 years ago and cherishes the relationship preserved all these years. This inspired her to start a maternity home that specializes in the 24/7 support of women in crisis pregnancies who for many reasons are not able to parent. We are proud to have housed over 100 women as well as helped many others through our crisis phone line. Watching the transformation of our birth mothers from homelessness, addiction or abuse embrace a future secure in the knowledge that they gave their child life and also chose to provide a secure two parent home in which to be raised is a constant source of joy.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Lamb of God Maternity Home and all the residents who have passed through our doors since 2013.
My name is Laura, and I am the Program Director at the home. I also respond to all the crisis phone calls that come into our office or on the crisis hotline which is monitored 24/7.
I don’t know if you can imagine (even those of you who have stood for life all these years) just how desperate are the circumstances our callers and residents find themselves in. Our home, for this reason, is adoption centric. We receive women whose issues with homelessness, joblessness, poverty, addiction, mental and physical abuse are so consuming that it impacts greatly their ability to parent their child. Some have already lost other children to the horrors of the foster care system. It is truly unbelievable but over 50% of single mothers will lose their children to this ever-burgeoning system before the child is 5 years old. Even more startling is that there are over two million infertile couples that wait for years to adopt, nurture, and provide a home for a child who needs one. Adoption is, and should be seriously considered, a solution to these jaw dropping statistics.
The problems which place a woman in a ‘crisis’ pregnancy in no way means that the love a mother has for her baby is not paramount to her. Even dealing concretely with all the issues a culture of death says a society could “solve” with abortion, these women courageously choose life. The women we care for are honest, true and believers in not only giving life to their child but also affording them a more than fair shake at an incredibly good life. At our home they are given a warm bed, home-made nutritious food, relaxation in a tranquil environment, time, and support to make decisions about their life and future and that of their unborn child. During this time, they are given the opportunity to choose parents for their children among carefully selected married couples (meaning a man and a woman) who have long awaited an opportunity to raise and love a child. Relationship with the chosen adoptive couple is created from the beginning, bonding happens throughout the pregnancy with the sharing of each other’s lives, attending doctor’s appointments together and witnessing the delivery and birth of the child. Through Open Adoption, the birth mothers can continue to build upon this relationship with the adoptive couple and remain in touch with the child through pictures or visits as they wish.
After the birth, we continue to house and support the birth mothers toward goals established from the beginning of their stay with us. These could include HS or college degrees, job skills and employment, reconciliation with their families, cleaning up driving, credit, and sometimes criminal records so that they can step into their future with a fresh start.
While women are at our home, we care for all their physical needs, promoting faith-based hope and dependence on our God who loves them immensely. In addition, we support them in all their individual and personal social needs. Some of our activities include doctor’s appointments, dental care, eyeglasses, AA/NA support groups, therapy, visitations with other children in foster care, meeting court dates and requirements, academic preparation, vocational classes, bible study, prayer, Sunday mass and other church activities. We also encourage participation in outings to the beach, park, shopping, concerts, and festivals when possible. Our van never stops!
As importantly, we help them learn basic life skills such as cooking, home care, financial literacy, time management, organization, and communication. Most of all, we create a warm, loving, non-judgmental, welcoming atmosphere where each woman is made to feel supported and special.
Lamb of God is a religious, non-profit, privately funded maternity home. All staff and board members as well as volunteers and mentors who work with our residents in the home take a pledge that the essential part of this ministry is first, to proclaim and defend respect for human life in practice and in prayer, to uphold each birthmother and support her decision fully and finally, to cooperate with the Agnus Dei Foundation programs and projects in being a champion for adoption as a viable and positive alternative to abortion.
Our home - like yours - has those pesky monthly bills, weekly maintenance, and ongoing necessary repair work. Please let us know if you would like to visit us at the home individually or as a group. We would be pleased to welcome you and introduce you to our wonderful birth mothers and staff. May God bless you.